Monday, March 16, 2009

Ares V: Progress Towards a Heavy Lift Capability for the Moon and Beyond

Steve Creech, integration manager, Ares V
Ares Projects Office, Marshall SFC

NASA's new exploration initiative will again take humans beyond low Earth orbit, to the moon, and into deep space. The space agency is developing a new fleet oflaunch vehicles that will fulfill the national goals ofreplacing the Space Shuttle fleet, completing the International Space Station, establishing a permanent outpost on the moon, and eventually traveling to Mars. Separate crew and cargo vehicles emerged from mission architecture studies - the Ares I to carry the Orion crew exploration vehicle and its crew of4 to 6 astronauts, and the Ares V to carry the Altair lunar lander or other supplies to support future exploration missions. (Figure 1) These vehicles will be designed to be safe, affordable, sustainable, reliable, operable with the safety, reliability, flexibility, and operability to serve this nation's manned and unmanned exploration programs for the coming decades. This paper discusses recent and current progress on the Ares V and planned future activities.

In its present configuration, Ares V stands 360 feet (l09.7m) tall, with a gross liftoffmass of 7.4 million pounds (3.3 kg). It will lift 138,000 pounds (62,596 kg) to trans lunar injection (TLI) in dual launch mode with Ares I or 287,000 pounds (130,000 kg) to low earth orbit (LEO) in single launch mode.

By comparison, The Apollo-era Saturn V was 364 feet (110.9m) tall, with a gross liftoffmass of 6.5 million pounds (2,948,350 kg), and could carry 99,000 pounds (44,906 kg) to TLI or 262,000 pounds (118,841 kg) to LEO.
Download the AIAA Study HERE.

No comments: